Following the closure of Barrie Speedway a couple of weeks ago, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series has added a race at Sunset Speedway in Innisfil, Ontario to bolster the schedule. Rather than replace the traditional late season slot however, the Sunset Speedway round, dubbed the Leland Industries 300 presented by Johnsonville, will be held on June 20.
Barrie Speedway was recently sold to the owners of the Boots & Hearts music festival, who have no future plans to operate facility as a race track.
While I wish the folks at Sunset Speedway well, the following press release seems to be a lesson in how to alienate major corporate partners. The series primary partner here in Canada, as the title suggests is retail giant Canadian Tire, who also happens to be the title sponsor of Canada’s premiere racing facility, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, previously known as Mosport. That legendary track hosts two NCTS races, including one that runs alongside the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. How can Sunset Speedway be mentioned as the anchor for NASCAR in Canada?
Gallery: 2014 Wahta Springs 300 at Barrie Speedway
NCATS press release
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2015) – NASCAR announced today that Ontario, Canada’s Sunset Speedway has joined the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program as a weekly NASCAR Home Track for the 2015 season.
The .333-mile, high-banked oval is located in Innisfil, Ontario, just 40 minutes north of Toronto. Sunset Speedway, which originally opened in 1968, will become the third NASCAR-sanctioned weekly track in Canada.
“We are pleased to welcome Sunset Speedway to the NASCAR family,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR’s vice president for regional and touring series. “Sunset is a fantastic facility with great competition and it will anchor NASCAR racing in Ontario.”
Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. Competitors at more than 50 paved and dirt tracks throughout North America vie for track, state and province, and overall series championships in Divisions I-V.
Sunset will also play host to the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series on June 20 for the Leland Industries 300 presented by Johnsonville.
“It is a very exciting year for me and the whole Sunset team,” said Mark Dilley, Sunset Speedway’s general manager. “Our goal has always been to host a NASCAR, and that day has finally come. Not only will we have the inaugural Leland Industries 300 presented by Johnsonville, but we will see a full year of NASCAR racing with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. It is a great opportunity for all of the fans, competitors and staff at Sunset, and I am proud to be a part of it.”
Sunset’s first night of NASCAR-sanctioned competition will be Saturday, May 2. Late models are the feature division at Sunset, and will be designated NASCAR Division I. The super stocks will compete as Division II, mini stocks Division III and mighty minis Division IV.
Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars across North America and Europe are among the many showcases for Whelen products.
For more information on Sunset Speedway, please visit sunsetspeedway.ca.